Finding the "YES"

Try NOT to correct or disagree, but rather, “Find the YES”

The first step is to find something in what the patient is saying to agree with or support. Instead of “No” or “But”, try for “Yes! And___”

 

Try not to disagree with them, tell them they are wrong, or correct them. Whenever possible, find something in what they are saying to agree with, and then add your scientific or medical information with an “AND.” In other words, when you find yourself about to correct your client or say “no,” think of saying “YES, AND” rather than “NO or BUT.”

Ways to Say “Yes”

Agreement

Display of empathy

Validation

Example One: Emma, Age 16:

 

“I’ve had sex without using anything for a while now and I haven't gotten pregnant, so I doubt it’s even possible.”

 

Agreement

 

“Yes, you're absolutely right, and…”

 

Display of empathy

 

“I can see that this is concerning to you, and..."

Validation

“Yes, many of my patients say that, and…”

 

Example Two: Andres, Age 13

 

“I read online that if you use two condoms, you’re twice as safe against STIs.”

 

Instead of:

 

“Don’t believe everything you read online!”

 

Try:

 

“It’s great you took the initiative to look this up on your own! I can see you’re really interested in taking care of yourself. I have a great resource for you that I think you will love…” (Bedsider.org)

Los Angeles, CA
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